Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 33, Tuesday, August 17, 2010



Green Bengal Smoothie
1½ cups orange juice
2 large mangoes
2 cups fresh parsley or spinach
2 cups of ice
Blend well and drink your healthy green smoothie.

Banana Crunch Breakfast Smoothie
1 banana
1 cup milk (I use skim or 1 percent)
2 tbsp of honey or sugar-free honey substitute
½ cup granola
½ cup of ice
It can seem weird drinking granola, but it really gives the drink a nice texture. You might also want to try adding ¼ or ½ cup of plain yoghurt to add a bit of tart flavour or to help smooth it out.

Jackfruit Smoothie
1 can of fresh jackfruit pulp or equivalent
1 cup yoghurt
2 cups milk
Sugar syrup from the can (2 tbsp more or less for your taste)
Blend all together until smooth and serve immediately.

Banana Mango Smoothie
4-6 ripe bananas
2 ripe mangoes
1 tbsp honey
3 ice cubes
¼ cup apple juice or coconut milk (depending on personal choice)
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
Serve in a tall glass

Iced Tea
¼ cup strong tea
½ cup boiling water
2 tsp sweetened condensed milk
Ice cubes
Garnish with mint
Combine tea (i.e., the powder), boiling water, and sweetened condensed milk, stir until blended. Pour into 2 tall glasses filled with ice cubes. Garnish with mint leaves.

Fruit Spiced Hot Aromatic Drink
6 cups of water
½ apple in chunks
½ cup of blackberries
½ cup strawberries
1 stick of lemon grass, chopped
A bunch of fresh mint
Boil all ingredients for about 8 minutes.
Serve hot, add juice of half lemon, add sugar and enjoy!

Fizzy Fruit Drink
1 cup orange juice
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup club soda
1 cup orange sherbet
Put orange juice, pineapple juice, club soda, and sherbet in bowl.
Mix everything with whisk.
Pour the fizz into the glasses.

Iced Coffee Mocktail
¼ cup cold strong coffee
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup hot water
4 cups Milk
Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker/stirrer and pour into an unusually shaped glass. Add crushed ice and decorations to create a great speciality drink from an easy-to-make recipe!

Deshi Specials

Sunset suppers


During Ramadan, most of us prefer a big feast, including halim, dahi bara, fruit salad, pasta, beguni, piyaju and many more, after a long hard day of fasting. Some people, on the other hand, prefer the usual bhaat since the timing of Maghrib is late in the evening. Eating an early dinner for Iftar is much healthier, as a matter of fact. After a good dinner, eating something light like a bowl of yoghurt a little later into the night is a healthier option and leaves you with a stomach empty enough for sehri. For those who prefer an early dinner, here are some recipes you could try out with steamed rice and a side dish of some healthy cooked vegetable this Ramadan to fulfil your appetite:

Deshi Style Duck Roast
1 duck (medium sized)
2 cups finely chopped onions
3 tbsp garlic paste
3 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 portion special masala mix
1½ cups oil
2 potatoes, boiled
2 onions, whole
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt, to taste

To make special masala mix, take 1 tsp fenugreek (methi) powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander, 2 tbsp grated coconut, 4 bay leaves and roast altogether in 1 tbsp oil until crispy and flavour is released. Then grind spice mixture to a paste.

Now wash the duck with the skin and mix it with all the spices except special mixed masala and marinate for 3-4 hours.

Heat oil in a wok and fry 2 cups sliced onions to make bereshta. Remove bereshta from the oil and fry the duck in it until golden brown, then remove and keep aside. In that same oil, one by one add all the spices and cook for a few minutes. Then add the duck to the spices, and cook further until spices release an aroma.

Now pour 1½ cups of water to help the meat go tender. Once the duck is tender and the water has reduced somewhat, add the prepared special masala mix over the duck and fry for a few minutes. Crush the bereshta and put it over the duck and allow to simmer for 2 minutes.

Once the duck is cooked, place in a serving dish and stuff with the boiled potatoes and whole onions, seasoned with salt and pepper. Finally, brush the duck with a little honey and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C.

Chicken With Sweet and Sour Mango Mustard Sauce
1½ kg broiler chicken, cut into medium-sized pieces
2 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp garlic paste
2 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ cup sliced onions
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
5-6 dried red chillies, chopped
1½ cups mustard paste
2 cups mango paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chilli powder
½ cup oil
Sugar to taste
Salt to taste

Marinade chicken pieces with the garlic and ginger pastes, chilli powder, lemon juice, salt and oil for one hour. Once meat in tenderised, remove from spices and lightly grill in oven or in a pan until brown, then keep aside.
Heat 1 cup oil in a pan, then add the chopped ginger, garlic and red chillies and sauté until an aroma is released. Add sliced onions, then the reserved marinade spices and cook for a while. Then add the mango paste, cover and allow curry to simmer. Finally, add the chicken and cook for a while longer until the meat and gravy are well blended. Add salt and sugar according to taste. Serve immediately with steamed rice, polao or parathas.

Fish Cutlet
1 kg fish (Mandarin, Rui or Ayer)
½ cup chopped onions
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 egg
2 tbsp flour
1½ tbsp ginger paste
1½ garlic paste
1½ tsp green chilli paste
1 cup breadcrumbs
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying
Carefully remove bones and skin from fish, wash, then soak in 2 tablespoons vinegar for 5-7 minutes. Wash again, then grind the fish meat to a paste.
In a bowl, take the fish and add all ingredients except breadcrumbs and mix well. Then divide into appropriate chunk-sized proportions, shape and roll over breadcrumbs and deep fry.

Beef With Pineapple
1½ kg beef, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 pineapple, pureed
1 cup sliced onion
½ cup oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1½ tbsp ginger paste
1½ garlic paste
5 cardamoms
4 cinnamon
3 bay leaves
Salt for taste
5 clove

Heat oil in a wok, then add onions and fry until slightly brown. Then, one by one, add all spices except pineapple and cook until flavour is released. Then add the beef and cook until meat is tender and has simmered well in the spices. Add a little water if necessary. Finally, add the pineapple puree and simmer for a while longer. Serve with steamed rice.

Iftar Special

Iftar hotspots around town

Photo Courtesy: The 8

Although iftar used to be a meal to be had at home with family, it has increasingly morphed into a meal to be had in restaurants around town, making an occasion of it with family and friends. It was bound to happen as all the eateries in town, both fine dining and fast food, compete with each other to attract customers with enticing deals and additions to their menu. The following are just a sample of the many options available to diners.

This now famous dining spot invites you to enjoy an array of unique, multi-faceted iftar experiences. With their interesting fusion décor and excellent service, Heritage is definitely one of the 'must go to' places in town to savour their delicious Ramadan menu.

Apart from the exclusive iftar options, one can also opt for their other offers -intimate candlelit dinners, gourmet meals, outdoor catering, special buffet and others.

This Ramadan they have seasoned their menu with a combination of traditional and unorthodox iftar savouries -- beef and mutton tehari, shahi haleem, atoshi kebab, sutli jilapi, motichur laddu,kaju barfi and rasogollar payesh and so on.

Needless to say, that unique stamp of Heritage remains the wide assortment of sweets that are being offered. Spend fun-filled relaxed moments with your family or friends and return with memories to last a lifetime.

Platinum Suites
Zizzi Ristorante, the fining dining restaurant of Platinum Suites has introduced an iftar buffet for the entire duration of the month of Ramadan. The buffet will feature delicacies of traditional cuisine with varieties of condiments, including fresh juice and lassi, lemon wedges and assorted garden salad, aloo chaat, Mal Mali chicken kebab, beef aloo dopiaza, bhuna khichuri, samosa, and beguni.

The soup menu includes the traditional haleem with mutton, and there is also a desserts tray featuring payesh, fruit salad, fresh dates, shahi tukra, gajar halwa, and mini jilapi.

For reservations, contact House #58, Road #11, Block-F, Banani, Dhaka or call 8831409.

The 8
Culturally, iftar had an inherent, Middle Eastern influence although now we are wrapped in traditions that are uniquely our own. The 8 offers a peek into the rich, culinary history of the Middle East and promises to tantalise the Bangladeshi palate.

Come join The 8 for the most exotic Iftar in town, as The 8 celebrates Ramadan @ Tk625++ per person. For reservations call 0192755 8888.

Photo Courtesy: The 8

The 8 offers
Natural green coconut water/Egyptian dates/assorted nuts

Fattoush: Traditional Levantine salad made from toasted or fried pieces of pita bread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables.

Kibbeh: An Assyrian dish made of wheat and chopped meat. The best-known variety is a torpedo-shaped fried croquette stuffed with minced beef or lamb.

Beef in creamy eggplant curry/Lebanese rice/assorted Kebabs
Murg pulao/piaju and assorted vegetable fritters/reshmi jilapi

Le Saigon
Right out of the heart of Indo-China, Le Saigon, a pioneer of the field, brought authentic taste of oriental cuisine to Dhaka. Iftar at Le Saigon is of course about a menu steeped in tradition, but also has a lot on offer for the 'food junkie'.

Le Saigon offers:
Chilled tamarind water with rock salt/chilled orange cordial with shredded fruits.

Deep fried parcels stuffed with cheese and mashed potatoes/ Cambodian beef stew stuffed into deep fried spring rolls/ Sweet BBQ chicken wings.

Pho Bo: Traditional Vietnamese beef and noodle soup.

Tzajik : Shredded cucumber mixed with peppered garlic infused yoghurt.

Traditional shahi tukra : Toasted bread soaked in a creamy sweet milk sauce.

Vietnamese Sago pudding : Bubble tea textured pudding with coconut milk.

Iftar/Dinner at Le Saigon is priced at Tk500 ++.

After an entire day of fasting, nothing beats that first glass of water or the first piece of date, followed by a wholesome, delectable iftar. Khazana promises to elevate this iftar experience to a whole new level with all its Indian delicacies.

Khazana is obsessive about serving their guests with the most authentic Indian dishes and this Ramadan, Khazana has gone the 'extra mile' to achieve that: special spices and herbs have been flown in from India to guarantee originality.

The iftar items are available at Iftar Bazaar, in their old location (House # 12, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan 2) from 1:00pm.

Khazana is also holding a buffet iftar dinner throughout the month at a price of Tk. 799 ++ per person.

Along with private guests, Khazana also offers special packages for corporate customers. For corporate iftar parties there are different sets of offers to choose from. Khazana has also designed iftar boxes and dalas for take-away this year.

Every good thing should have a sweet ending. Khazana brings you 'Khazana Mithai', a range of fresh, authentic, exciting sweets. Khazana has sweet shops at their Gulshan and Dhanmondi outlets.

They will also be selling selected iftar items at their Dhanmondi outlet. Some of the original Khazana Mithai specialties include son papri, gulab jamun, rasmalai, motichur laddu, kaju barfi, lemon sandesh, raj bhog and so on.

For reservation and more information, please call 8826127, 8821965, 01711476379.

The buffet at Topkapi is a wonderful experience. You may not get a taste of some authentic flavour of a far off land but over the years they have built a niche amongst Dhaka's foodies as a staple where dining just can't go wrong.

They have over 40 items selected for their regular buffet. They also have a fabulous take-away service, so if you are around Gulshan #2 and looking for a place to break your fast, you can always drop in at Topkapi.

LS Pick(take away)
Mutton haleem Tk300
Chicken tikka Tk 140/ pc
Tangri kebab Tk 130/ pc
Sis kofte Tk90/ pc
Aloo chana chat Tk 130/ plate
Fruit chat Tk 130/ plate
Fish shashlik Tk 60/ pc

Efes has a buffet (Tk550 ++) as well as a take away service. Their menu is simple, but tested for quality and not to mention taste. Mutton halim, bong, mutton tehari, sheek kebab, chapati kebabs, zafrani jilapi, and many more.

Their buffet items change week to week but they have over 40 items fixed for the take away, so go ahead and pick any item of your own choice.

Go to13, Gulshan South Avenue, Dhaka-1212 or call 9899720.

Street Iftaar
When Ramadan hits Bangladesh, it hits ALL of Bangladesh. Not only does every home in town get busy with the preparations of the big meal each day, but people scurry around the streets panicking to make iftar on time as well!

Yes, the street iftars. Absolutely perfect for you when you don't have enough time to get home and can grab something delightful to eat while you're on your way.

One of the most famous corners happens to be road number 32 in Dhanmondi, right near Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's house. Since that place happens to be one of the busiest places in all of Dhaka, people serve iftar on the streets to people who are too late to get home or people who can't afford something too fancy for iftar. But who's to say you won't get anything fancy there? You'll get the A to Z of iftar! From jilapi, to piyaju, to beguni and ofcourse, nobody wants to miss the halim!

Another popular street iftar junction is Bijoy Nagar, right near Shilpakala academy. Also known as one of the busiest places around, Bijoy Nagar is famous for it's traffic. If you ever happen to get stuck there with no way out and it's almost time for the Azaan, all you have to do is get out of your vehicle and take your pick from the variety of food you can eat from the street iftar bazaar there!

Everything about Ramadan is special. The food, the streets, even the air has a different feel. But here in Bangladesh, our street iftar bazaars are what make it complete!

By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan and LS Desk
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Special thanks to Khazana

Check It Out

Iftar and philanthropy at Nando's

NANDO'S has introduced an iftar menu for the month of Ramadan in a press event held at their Dhanmondi outlet on Wednesday August 11. The menu will be available all through the month, and consists of three mouth-watering dishes that are sure to have fasters going back to the eatery.

What is unique about this offer, and indeed all of Nando's food, is the health aspect. Tarak Bhattacharya, the COO of MGH Restaurants Limited, the company that operates Nando's in Bangladesh, said, “Our chickens are 100% cholesterol free and stripped of fat in three stages. None of our cooking processes involves any oil. Instead, we use our world-famous Peri Peri sauce, which itself is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals.

“Although we have a habit of eating fried foods for iftar, it really isn't a healthy thing to do on an empty stomach. Since our chicken is not fried in oil, it is a much healthier option for iftar,” he added.

Nando's have added three iftar meals to their menu for Ramadan. The first is the ¼ Chicken Meal served with wings, fruits Peri chaat and various other sides, and also with two different drinks, priced at Tk550.

Then there is the succulent Steak Meal with the chicken steak served with tasty sides and drinks priced at Tk650. The sides include the quintessential iftar fruit, the date. Concessions have also been made for our weakness for fried food, as they form part of the side, but accompanied as they are by healthier items, it should not raise too many health concerns.

Last, but in no way least, is the priciest item on the menu, but still worth the expenditure. The exotic Chicken Espatada, priced at Tk750, is a large platter of soft and juicy chunks of chicken and sides that include Nando's delicious potato wedges. Like the other meals, the meal includes drinks, and will leave you feeling fulfilled at the end of a long day of fasting.

The most worthy aspect of Nando's Ramadan campaign though, is not the food, delicious though it may be. In keeping with the tradition of Islamic philanthropy, Nandos' encourage guests to donate a Nando's Meal to someone less fortunate, after which Nando’s will match the donation. Then, every Thursday orphans from various orphanages will be invited to Nando's to enjoy these iftar meals. Even if no one donates, which would indeed be very selfish, Nando's has set aside a certain amount to share with the underprivileged children.

Apart from a grand, healthy iftar to soothe our hunger, Nando's offers us the opportunity to soothe our souls by partaking in some much-needed philanthropy during this holy month.




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